After two decades of various global leadership positions in the high-tech industry, I quit my senior job with Cisco Systems to pursue a two-year career break to train as a mountaineer and glacier guide.
Navigating this path from corporate boardrooms to the majestic heights of alpine peaks tells a story of transformation. It’s about embracing a significant change — reducing carbon footprints and replacing frequent flyer miles with alpine summit counts.
What sets my story apart? I had barely strapped on a pair of skis before.
When I embarked on this transformation, I wasn’t starting from a place of mountaineering expertise. In fact, it was quite the opposite. While I for quite some time had fostered a deep appreciation for the outdoors and was an enthusiastic hiker, my comfort zone was far removed from alpine peaks. I struggled with a paralysing fear of heights and a glaring lack of downhill skiing skills.
Facing these challenges head-on, I harnessed the power of consistent exposure and sheer determination. Confronting my fears day by day, I slowly built confidence, reinforcing the old saying that with strong belief and persistence, any mountain – literal or metaphorical – can be surmounted.
Through chronicling this journey, I hope to share some lessons from these expeditions and insights into how the discipline and resilience ingrained in mountaineering can actually enrich business acumen. Step into this engaging intersection of executive leadership and outdoor exploration, from the dynamic world of global technology acquisitions to the majestic heights of alpine peaks!
If my carbon footprint were any bigger, it’d have its own zip code.
While thriving professionally in firms like Cisco, I grew concerned with the personal consequences of such a high-paced lifestyle. As a husband and proud father of two beautiful girls, I missed precious family moments. Moreover, the magnitude of my travels had resulted in a personal carbon footprint equivalent to that of a small Norwegian town, a realisation that prompted further introspection.
To rectify this, I embarked on a transformative journey. I took a two-year hiatus from the corporate world to devote more time to my family, reduce my carbon footprint, and pursue my fast-growing passion for the outdoors. In the majesty of alpine peaks and the solitude of mountaineering, I discovered a surprising convergence between the challenges faced in the wilderness and the high-stakes corporate boardrooms.
Mountaineering for Business Benefits
Resilience, adaptability, strategic decision-making — these skills honed on the mountainside translated seamlessly into my executive and advisory roles. It also reinforced the importance of compassionate leadership, clear communication, and prompt resolution of difficulties, especially in today’s fast-paced and often brutal business environment.
This realisation inspired me to launch this website. I aim to share the insights gleaned from my journey, hoping to inspire others to navigate their professional peaks and valleys. Today, I wear multiple hats: a seasoned business executive, a passionate technologist, an avid mountaineer, a dedicated husband, and a proud father. This website reflects my multifaceted journey, offering a glimpse into personal adventures, struggles and lessons learned along the way. It represents a balance of outdoor exploration, mountaineering and leadership, reflecting the complex world we live in today.